Now that the spring and summer sports season has arrived, the American Association of Endodontists (AAE) is urging all young athletes to “watch their mouths,” and to wear a mouth guard for every sport this year, including even those spring sports typically thought of as “non-contact” sports — like soccer, softball, baseball and gymnastics.
Traumatic injury to the mouth and knocked-out teeth are most often associated with football or hockey, but spring sports, such as soccer and baseball, can present just as big a risk, according to the AAE. The association warns that soccer players are actually 8 times more likely than football players to suffer mouth injuries, and that nearly 1 in 5 baseball players will experience a dental injury this year. They also advise that mouth guards prevent an estimated 200,000 injuries annually.
There are three types of mouth guards: the off-the-shelf, “one-size-fits-all” mouth guard; the “boil-and-bite,” mouth-formed mouth guard; and the dentist-made custom guard.
While custom mouth guards offer the best protection, any type of mouth guard will help to reduce the chance of injury to the teeth, according to the AAE. If a tooth is knocked out, the association suggests taking the following steps to help boost the odds of saving the tooth:
- “Pick up the tooth by the chewing surface, not the root.
- If the tooth is dirty, gently rinse with water.
- Reposition the tooth in the socket, if possible.
- Keep the tooth moist.
- See an endodontist within 30 minutes.”
When using mouth guards, it’s also particularly important to properly maintain and clean them to prevent possible infections.
Previously on the DC Metro Area Personal Injury Law Blog, we have posted articles related to:
- Tips to prevent falls and head injuries at home
- The surprising economic impact of skateboarding injuries
- Evidence that ankle braces prevent many critical volleyball injuries
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